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Monday, July 25, 2005
the space-age bachelor pad (page 171 :)
Women, I think, in general, don't know anything about being romantic. Oh, sure, they talk about romance and everything, but it's pure clichés . . . flowers, candles, cards—absolutely no originality. And it's almost all on the receiving end.
picking up girls made easy (it's incredible :)
But say a woman pours you a cup of tea in a restaurant, or brings you a tin box full of cookies she personally baked, or makes and paints a teapot for you, or sews you some leather-soled socks or knits a sweater for your dog—assuming you have a dog—see, that kind of stuff would just kill me dead with a surge of romanticons, the elementary particles that compose interstellar lovey-doveyness.
Those things are amazing. You live for that stuff. . .
Wow, this is quite possibly the most lecherously underhanded misogynistic thing I've ever heard. I'm swinging back and forth between being utterly shocked and completely entertained...
Apparently, lying is the number one ingredient for picking up women. But I'm still listening. Just made me laugh aloud. "You look like the dancer, Joanna Webber. You've got the same grace, and blond hair..."
I love the way the record says you'll "pick up girls automatically!" -- Eventually you won't even have any control over it; you'll get home with a couple more chicks and think, "damn, I did it again!"
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Sunday, July 24, 2005
"Uzbekistan has metastasized from being a Central Asian state to being a symbol. This isn't a surprising, I suppose, and it isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. But what's interesting is exactly what the symbol seems to mean and perhaps how far that meaning is from reality."
"Lula is someone whom the international left really seems to rally around. In spite of all his faults, he's the world's one identifiably progressive, big-ticket national leader, and Brazil has become the world's one identifiably progressive, big-ticket poor country."
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005
"Dirk Benedict went on to star in 'The A-Team.' Richard Hatch did soaps and TV work and started a business leading seminars in personal communication. In 1995, his girlfriend at the time persuaded him to do a signing session at a 'Star Trek' convention in Pasadena. He agreed, but he wasn't sure if anyone would come. By that point, 'Battlestar Galactica' had virtually disappeared. There had never been a complete video release, and with only a single season's worth of programming in existence, reruns were few and far between. So Hatch was nervous before the signing session, clutching his handful of photographs, watching the long lines of fans waiting to meet their favorite 'Star Trek' actors, wondering if he would be sitting at his table out on the edge of the convention for hours by himself. Then his name was announced on the P.A., and he heard the crowd roar. One by one, they came to him, the fans, with their memories of 'Battlestar Galactica,' emotionally recounting what the show had meant to them, how it helped them through difficult times in their lives."
"When pressed, Mr. Bernstein echoes Benjamin's friend and colleague Theodor Adorno, who defended difficult music as having its own social value precisely because it teaches us how to withhold understanding and therefore helps us resist the allure of false clarity in the world beyond the concert hall. Complexity, in other words, is a worthy ideal in art because reality is even more complex and dissonant than the thorniest work of modernism, even if politicians and the commercial culture reassure us that everything is simple, clear and harmonious."
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It's hard to imagine anyone more comfortable than Mr. Van Sant with his present artistic course. He looked so serene, even in the face of viewer confusion. He told a story about "Gerry," a film whose narrative arc was difficult to discern, even for its stars, Mr. Damon and Mr. Affleck.
"I had to talk Matt and Casey into signing off," he said. "Because they were, like, 'Let's go back and shoot more stuff.' That was their reaction to watching the movie. And I said, 'Well, we could.' And Casey said, 'Maybe next Tuesday?' And I said: 'We could. I'm not sure. I really like it.' And Matt said, 'You mean you're fine with the movie like this?' And I said: 'Yeah. I think I really like it a lot.' And he said, 'Oh.' And Matt and Casey looked at each other and said, 'Huh.' And then they said, 'Hmmm.' They said, 'So we're not telling anybody what happened?' And I said, 'Yeah, but that's great.' Fortunately, I had people who were on my side. Because Casey and Matt, they wanted to make sure that the movie wasn't insane. Which it kind of is."
Q. How long have you been abusing your father?
A. I was always doing that. You know, hiding behind a door and as soon as Phil would open it up, I would just attack him. One day I decided to set up a video camera and do it. Everyone was like: "That's so funny. You're really hitting him hard. You're not being jokey about it. You're really punching him in the stomach as hard as you can numerous amounts of time."
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Sunday, July 17, 2005
comment spam advertising google
word into a link
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Monday, July 11, 2005
THE capital of the American automotive industry and the capital of American entertainment don't seem to have much in common. Detroit wears Brooks Brothers, Hollywood wears Armani. Detroit eats meat and potatoes, Hollywood (when it's not dieting) dines on sushi and low-carb shakes. Detroit is Rust Belt; Hollywood is Botox Belt.
Crucial numbers in Detroit are market share and miles per gallon. In Hollywood, they're box office takes and agents' percentages. In Detroit, silicon can be found in painstakingly engineered auto parts. In Hollywood, silicone can be found in painstakingly engineered body parts.
But in this summer of shared discontent it suddenly seems the two industrial capitals have something in common. Both iconic American powerhouse industries formed in the early 20th century and saw their high point midcentury. Today, both are discovering that the strategy and tactics that until recently brought them huge profits have led them to re-examine their business models. Sure, the woes afflicting the two industries are vastly different - the Big Three automakers are struggling under the weight of health insurance and pension costs while Hollywood studios are buffeted by rapidly changing technologies and consumer tastes. While no Hollywood studio has seen its debt downgraded to junk, their respective plights reveal striking similarities - and perhaps, a similar way out.
Consumers today face an unprecedented array of choices for how to spend their transportation and entertainment dollars. And with each passing year, they seem less likely to choose to spend them on the stuff cranked out of Detroit and Hollywood assembly lines. In the postwar decade, the height of the American century, both rode high. The Big Three - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - held down an astonishing 95 percent of the United States car market in 1955. In 1948, writes Edward Jay Epstein, author of "The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood," some 90 million Americans, or 65 percent of the nation's population, went to a movie each week. That year, with TV in its infancy and the only real competition radio, Americans bought a whopping 4.6 billion tickets.
But decades of competition from upstarts - Japanese and Korean automakers for Detroit, television, video games and the Internet for Hollywood - have killed these two incumbents by a thousand cuts. In June, the no-longer-so-Big Three controlled just 58.3 percent of the United States market. Last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, only about 10 percent of the population managed to make it to the multiplex each week, and the number of tickets sold slumped 2.4 percent to a little more than 1.5 billion. So far this year, according to Exhibitor Relations, attendance is down another 7.8 percent.
Sci Fi's foray into Saturday night mayhem began in 2002, when network executives realized that cheap, independently made genre pictures, an important element of their programming mix, were hardly being produced any more. So, said Tom Vitale, the Sci Fi Channel's senior vice president for original movies "We had a choice of recycling older movies or going out and trying to create original movies ourselves. We went back to these producers who made genre movies, and asked them if they wanted to make them with us."
People like Ken Badish jumped at the chance. Mr. Badish's company, Active Entertainment, will have produced nine Sci Fi movies by the end of 2005, high-concept features like "Mansquito" (experiment gone awry creates man-mosquito hybrid!), and "Alien Lockdown" (government science produces horrific slime thing!).
The most important element of a Sci Fi film, Mr. Badish said, "is a topical film that has relevance to our audience."
"In a film coming up," he added, "stem cells are key to the plot; in another, it's mad cow disease. Secondly, there's a good story. Like we're shooting a 'Jaws'-kind of movie featuring a giant squid. We make a reasonable use of C.G.I., because the audience wants that escapist thing. And we add emotional content, so the audience can feel for the characters."
Often that amounts to borrowing shamelessly from works like "Alien," "The Fly" and "The Thing" and then adding ideas gleaned from Scientific American or Wired.
Shot on budgets ranging from $1 million to $2 million, Sci Fi's movies are made in money-saving locales like Bulgaria, Romania and Missouri. They're cast with B-list celebrities like Luke Perry and Stephen Baldwin, with the occasional big-picture actors - Sean Astin and John Rhys-Davies of "Lord of the Rings" - making an appearance. The network pays $750,000 for domestic TV rights, and the producers make their money back through international and DVD sales.
But are the films any good? Critics have not found much to praise, though some seem to have tried pretty hard. Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times said "Chupacabra: Dark Seas" (monster runs amok on a cruise liner!) was "founded on broad clichés, overacted and clumsily blocked." But she added that the casting of serious actors like Mr. Rhys-Davies and Giancarlo Esposito "provides evidence of self-respect," that "someone has tried to make a coherent, passionate and traditional B movie." Entertainment Weekly opened one of its reviews by noting, "There are better things on tonight, but none are called 'Mansquito.' "
The critics' disfavor doesn't seem to bother the folks behind the films, who have no pretensions to high art. Bonnie Hammer, the Sci Fi Channel president, likes to refer to the pictures as "popcorn movies for those who love the genre," adding, "Viewers come for the ride; it's a guilty pleasure." Jeff Beach, whose Unified Film Organization has made 20 films for the network, calls them "high-concept action-adventure movies with elements that are fun, whether a creature or a disaster."
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